Pitching Staff Cruises As Rivets Win 5-2 Over Lakeshore
LOVES PARK, Ill. – The Rockford Rivets beat Lakeshore Saturday night at Rivets Stadium by a score of 5-2 to split the series with the Chinooks.
Rockford was led by a stellar pitching performance from Normal, Ill. native Jackson Bronke, who went six innings, struck out 12 batters, gave up two hits and allowed just one run. Bronke struck out half of the batters he faced and picked up his first win of the season.
Relieveres Jimmy Burnette and Nolan Gazouski then combined to close out the game for the Rivets with both pitching just over an inning. Rockford’s pitching staff, which included Bronke, Burnette and Gazouski, finished with 18 strikeouts total while only giving up three hits and two earned runs.
Rivet’s manager Brian Smith was impressed with Bronke’s ability to stay consistent throughout the game.
“It was impressive the way he challenged these guys early in the count,” Smith said. “The wind was blowing in the entire game and he attacked and attacked and attacked, he got some good swings and misses, some good weak contact and I think he only gave up two hits.”
On the offensive side, the Rivets started off early when designated hitter Braden Mosley singled to left to bring in center fielder Brennan Reback to put Rockford ahead early 1-0. They then put another run across in the second when Reback hit a sacrifice fly to bring in shortstop Tim Lilly.
Third baseman Justin Walker made his Rivets debut on Saturday and made himself known. The University of Indiana product recorded two hits and knocked in two runs in his first game in a Rockford uniform.
Smith thinks that Walker will fit in well with the current and expected roster for the Rivets this season.
“He put two good swings on the ball, he’s a switch hitter so he’s always going to give us that flexibility in the lineup,” Smith said. “As long as he swings it and he’s aggressive on the base paths too, which I really like, he’s going to fit in great.”
Rockford managed to pick up the win in front of a large crowd on “First Responders Night”, which honored the men and women who serve the Rockford community.
Rockford will be right back at it tomorrow when they begin a two game series with Kalamazoo at 4:00 pm in Rockford.
The Rockford Rivets are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Now in its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 190 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.rockfordrivets.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Rivets as your favorite team.